After the Burning

The forest burned down since last I went. England has faced a series of brutal heatwaves this summer along with much of the rest of Europe. Wildfires are uncommon here, but in the hottest heatwave the Lickey Hills above Birmingham sparked into blaze. Acres of woodland at the edge of the city were gone across… Continue reading After the Burning

Uncapturable

There’s a trope where we see pictures from a concert or a festival or some other notable event and no one in the crowd is watching. Instead, they’re looking at their phones. Of course, they’re taking pictures or videoing the event for posterity or to share with their friends later. It’s not that they’re not… Continue reading Uncapturable

None Greater

Have you ever stood next to something truly huge? The typical examples are the Grand Canyon or a giant Redwood tree, but I’ve not been to North America. My huge things are smaller—in part because my green and pleasant nation is. I remember how small Edinburgh looks from the top of Arthur’s Seat, or the… Continue reading None Greater

God is a Giver

We all know how the world should be run. It’s simply obvious to us: the best people should run things, and everyone should get what they deserve. If you put that to 100 people, I suspect you would find the vast majority would agree that this an innately good idea. They call it a meritocracy—a… Continue reading God is a Giver

Taking the Long View

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Dr Pepper asked us repeatedly—since I don’t like it, I always assumed that drinking it was punishment enough. They also printed this under the ingredients which is wonderfully self-aware marketing, if a little dark. Though, I read that this was not their slogan outside of the UK, so perhaps… Continue reading Taking the Long View

From Knowing to Knowing

How does someone know that you love them? My wife knows that I love her. She can remember that I swore vows to do so, she can remember all the times that I’ve said so before, she can watch my behaviour both past and present and see that it must be true. She knows that… Continue reading From Knowing to Knowing

The Myth of Disenchantment

One of the features of Charles Taylor’s argument in his great (in every sense!) work A Secular Age is that we are a people who are disenchanted. We no longer readily believe in magic, or that hobs sour the milk. We find supernatural claims extraordinary, and all of us—even believers—find that our ‘social imaginary’ means… Continue reading The Myth of Disenchantment